County Bond Deals? How About Gas Gouging?

On Thursday the Big Metal Shed on the Hill had a story about issues concerning bond financing by local governments. See the story, here. The article raised some interesting thoughts not just about bond financing but about other questions about city and county vendors.

Do you remember this past summer when Pilot Travel Centers was the first oil and gas retailer in the area to break the $5.00 per gallon price? Not only were they taking money out of your personal pocket but they were taking your tax payer dollars out of your pocket. You see every Knox County Sheriff’s Department cruiser, Knox County general government vehicle fuels at a Pilot Travel Center. Because of a competitive process that Knox County undertook to locate a vendor for fuel of it’s vehicles. So, while Pilot was gas gouging normal citizens they were also gas gouging the tax paying citizens. In one state, Pilot Travel Centers has paid $100,000 in fines and $20,000 in fines to another state.

Will Tennessee investigate and charge a fine to recoup our tax dollars? Of course, NOT. One reason is that the heads of Pilot Travel Centers are politically connected and have contributed financially to the current Governor and members of the legislature. Secondly, the son and brother of the heads of Pilot Travel Centers is a 2010 candidate for Governor. If he is successful in becoming Governor any action taken today will be rescinded in 2011. So, no reason to do anything now.

It would be nice to see the boys and ladies in the Big Metal Shed on the Hill investigate and report on the actions of Pilot Travel Centers since the are after Cumberland Securities. But, then again Cumberland Securities do not have a brother or son running for Governor in 2010. And they do not buy 50,000 news papers on a specific day of the week.

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